AWESOME Aaron Williamson made a stellar start to life in the 2012 AirAsia Renault UK Clio Cup with a thrilling third place at Brands Hatch.
Holbeach Drove ace Williamson went into the weekend hoping to qualify inside the top ten, considering he’s a rookie in the class.
But the teenager managed to post his fastest qualifying lap of 52.388secs, which put him in sixth position for race one and ninth for the second.
With a massive 25 cars on the grid, Williamson’s qualifying performance was just the boost he needed.
However, the 20 lap first race didn’t start well for the Finess Motorsport maestro, who dropped a place on lap one. He settled into the race though – and managed to make a move at Paddock Hill on lap eight that put him back into sixth.
A slick drive then saw him gradually move up the field to third position by lap 18, a place he maintained until the chequered flag to take a well-deserved podium, and also a trophy for best-placed rookie driver.
Carnage followed in race two, with a big collision on the start and another at Graham Hill bend on lap one. Williamson managed to avoid both incidents, and started to make progress through the field.
However, he was one of a number of drivers to pick up a penalty for exceeding track limits, meaning his eight place turned into 15th.
Williamson said: “I’m really pleased with my weekend. I never expected to get on the podium and this has given me a massive confidence boost.
“Considering my race pace was on a par with much more experienced drivers, I’m a little disappointed with the race two result. But all in all I’m feeling really positive about the season ahead.”
Williamson is back in action at the second round at Donington Park this weekend, which will be televised live on ITV4.